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Influencer Shocked to Learn That Rwandan Government Takes Positive Covid Tests Seriously

Illustration for article titled Influencer Shocked to Learn That Rwandan Government Takes Positive Covid Tests Seriously
Screenshot: TikTok

When life gives you content fodder, make content! That’s what Charly Jordan did after she allegedly tested positive for covid-19 upon arrival in Rwanda and was forced to quarantine for a few days while she awaited further testing.

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The influencer, who has 3.3 million followers on Instagram and nearly 2 million on TikTok, documented her (honestly not at all) harrowing journey in a series of videos posted to her social media accounts.

According to the clips, Jordan traveled to Rwanda—which she keeps calling “Rwanda, Africa” for some reason, as if it’s, like, the capital city of the country Africain order “to do charity work with gorillas.” Unclear what that means.

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She says that she tested positive for covid after arriving at the Rwandan airport, which surprised her as she already had the disease “like three and a half months ago” and her “doctors said [she] couldn’t get it again.” She also says that she took “a hundred thousand tests” before traveling to the “developing country,” as she calls it, so the whole thing really threw her for a loop.

“Literally the fucking [Rwandan] government showed up at my place and dragged me away from everyone I was with,” Jordan says in the first TikTok video posted after being put into her mandated quarantine. “I don’t speak the language, and they came and locked me in this fucking room.”

Although it’s not apparent in that first video, subsequent videos reveal that “this fucking room” is actually a hotel room and it’s honestly kind of nice?

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Jordan continues: “It’s really scary. I don’t know why I have it again. I’m not with anyone I know, and I’m in fucking Rwanda, Africa, and I don’t know how long I’m gonna be here, and they won’t tell me anything.”

Rwanda is currently one of only 30 countries that’s “open with restrictions” to U.S. travelers, according to Vulture. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that Americans avoid all nonessential international travel to Rwanda at this time as the covid risk has been deemed to be “high” there, but that’s kind of a crazy thing for the literal epicenter of the global coronavirus pandemic to say about the African country, which has pretty effectively handled the worldwide health crisis thus far thanks to responsive lockdown measures, mass testing, and comprehensive contact tracing.

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Anyway, four days of quarantine and two negative covid tests later, Jordan was allowed to leave her Rwandan hotel room after government officials determined that her first test had been a false positive.

In an Instagram Story update from Sunday night, she apologized for traveling during the pandemic. “I’m completely in the wrong for doing that, and I have learned my less one hundred percent,” she said.

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However, in a new TikTok video posted Monday afternoon, Jordan maintained that she did everything in her power to make her mid-pandemic globetrotting as safe as possible: “Whether you think I should or should not have been traveling is your own opinion.”

She’s right! And in my opinion, she shouldn’t have. No offense to the gorillas she was going to do charity work with, whatever the hell that means.

Freelance journalist (GQ, Esquire, Out, elsewhere), here on weekends

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DISCUSSION

foxtrotecho
Foxtrot Echo

Two thoughts other than the obvious eye rolling this induced:

I have now had a couple of acquaintances who have had covid twice. It’s clearly not the case that if you get it you have blanket immunity. I’m curious about how fast information like this, even if it’s anecdotal, takes to filter through to doctors. Not under the impression that I know better, but id be interested to hear from any doctors on whether they’ve also seen second infections and whether that’s information they’d pass onto patients.

Second, right back at the beginning of lockdown, when the UK rate was skyrocketing but international travel hadn’t totally stopped, my mum called worried that the Caribbean would be “too infectious for it to be safe us to go”. The idea that countries would be restricting her from entry because SHE was the infection risk had never crossed her mind. It’s amazing how some people see the whole world spinning around their axis